Tory councillor struck off teaching list for ‘drooling hag’ tweet to Sturgeon

Kathleen Leslie, a Tory councillor from Fife has been struck off. Picture: Fife Today
Kathleen Leslie, a Tory councillor from Fife has been struck off. Picture: Fife Today
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A Fife councillor who called Nicola Sturgeon a “drooling hag” has been struck from the teaching register.

Kathleen Leslie, a Tory councillor for Burntisland, Kinghorn and Western Kirkcaldy, agreed to the removal after being reported to the General Teaching Council Scotland (GTCS) over offensive tweets she posted about the First Minister, during the 2014 Scottish independence referendum.

Kathleen Leslie's tweets. Picture: Twitter

Kathleen Leslie's tweets. Picture: Twitter

Ms Leslie, formerly of Woodmill High School in Dunfermline, resigned as a teacher after winning the council seat at the recent elections – council employees can stand for election to the local authority they work for, but if elected, unless they are in a politically restricted post, they have to quit the next day.

She admitted her fitness to teach was impaired, and waived her right to a full hearing on the grounds she no longer wished to continue teaching following her election to public office.

Ms Leslie was also banned from applying to return to teaching for two years by the GTCS.

The complaint was sparked after she tweeted derogatory comments about the First Minister three years ago.

Ahead of the independence referendum in 2014, Ms Leslie called the then Deputy First Minister a “drooling hag” and “wee fish wife” during a series of vitriolic posts on social media.

The tweets resurfaced during the election campaign, sparking a complaint.

Ms Leslie, who taught at a school in west Fife, said during her 16-year career in education she was never under any scrutiny regarding her performance or professionalism, and her political views were never allowed to enter the classroom.

Ms Leslie was a teacher for 16 years, latterly working with children with additional needs.

She said: “I chose not to exercise my right to take the issue to a hearing, as I no longer wished to continue teaching, having decided to fully commit myself to representing my ward, ensuring that the interests of my constituents were being served and their voices heard.

“During my years of teaching I was never under any scrutiny as regards my professionalism and performance in the classroom.

“I took my responsibilities very seriously and never allowed politics to intrude in the teaching environment.”

She added her energy and focus now lay in scrutinising the “fundamental failings in Scottish education due to a decade of SNP misrule”.

A Fife Council spokesperson said: “As a responsible employer, Fife Council does not discuss the details of current or former employees.”